There will be no such thing as a holiday break for Joshua “The Passion” Pacio as he continues to grind at the gym in preparation for the first defense of his ONE Strawweight World Championship against Yosuke Saruta.
The 22-year-old phenom from Baguio City is slated to battle the crafty Japanese athlete in the main event of ONE: ETERNAL GLORY, which takes place at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia on 19 January.
Pacio’s commitment to his craft is unparalleled as he had to give up spending the Yuletide season with his family to fully focus on his training.
“It’s the sacrifice that I have to do because it’s my first title defense,” he said. “On Christmas Eve, I spent it with my family, but the day after, I was back in training.”
Pacio was originally scheduled to duke it out with Hayato Suzuki at ONE ETERNAL GLORY, but the latter was forced to withdraw from the bout due to an injury.
Another Japanese competitor was tapped to fill in for Suzuki’s spot in the main event as the task to square off with Pacio for the prestigious belt was given to Saruta.
A sudden replacement of opponent could disrupt the course of an athlete’s training, but Pacio merely shrugged it off, citing that a mixed martial artist should have the ability to adjust.
“As a martial artist, you need to adapt. It has already happened to me in the past, and I was able to adapt through it,” he stressed. “The game plan will be changed, but that’s okay. It’s better now because there are still weeks to prepare.”
With 24 days to go before he collides with Saruta inside the ONE Championship cage, Pacio pointed out that he is exactly where he needs to be in training.
“The training is going fine. Now it’s all about peaking at the right time in training,” he shared. “Regardless of my opponent, I will do my best to defend my title successfully.”